PHILADELPHIA -- A decade.
That's how long Rick DiPietro has left on his ridiculous contract with the New York Islanders. If tonight's game against the Flyers is any indication, it's gonna be loooooooong decade on the Island. The goaltender gave up six goals on 29 shots tonight as the Flyers rolled to a 6-1 victory.
It was their 11th straight victory over the Islanders in Philadelphia, who haven't won here since April 2007.
Not only did the Islanders lose in just about every aspect of the sport of hockey tonight, they did it like children. From the net out, the entire second half of the hockey game was an excellent showing of we'll-make-you-laugh-at-us-for-more-reasons-than-we're-bad-at-hockey from the Isles.
With the Flyers up 4-0 on goals from Kimmo Timonen, Chris Pronger and two from Jeff Carter, Zenon Konopka challenged Dan Carcillo to a bit of a duel. It was probably the most entertaining fight of the year for the Flyers and could be called a strong win for Carbomb, who hung in with one of those guys who's sole job is to drop the mitts.
A few minutes later, Trent Hunter crushed the head of Andrej Meszaros into the glass. Danny Briere jumped to the aid of his defenseman, while Rick DiPietro came all the way out to the blue line to make things interesting as well. He picked up a two minute penalty for
being a baby leaving the crease, in addition to Hunter's five and a game for boarding. The league might be looking at that hit on Monday. Meszaros didn't return.
While the Flyers were up by two men, the Islanders scored on a penalty shot to ruin Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout. Fortunately, it'd be the only goal of the night for the kids from New York, and the Flyers would make sure they wouldn't have much time to relish in it. Just a few minutes later, Chris Pronger blasted his second point shot of the night by DiPietro to make the score 5-1.
The game was effectively over and the third period hadn't even begun. Not that anybody should've wanted to go home, however, because the fireworks were really just beginning. After jawing on their way back to the benches after their second period fight, you had a feeling Konopka and Carcillo were going to drop 'em again. They did just that midway through the third.
Carcillo's dad told me after the game that the second one wasn't really much of a fight. He was right, but Konopka did pick up a 10 minute misconduct on the play. A few minutes later after a scrum in front of the net, tough guy Trevor Gillies showed how tough he really is by taking a cheap shot on Danny Briere. He received a TRIPLE MINOR for roughing on the play, as well as a game misconduct. I didn't know that was possible, but it was well-deserved.
At the 19 minute mark, in front of a basically-empty WFC crowd, Frans Nielsen said something to Briere. Carcillo didn't know what he said, but he "knew something was going to happen, so he just went in there and hit him" right off of the faceoff. Briere seemed to hit him first, but Carcillo got a shot in as well. All hell broke loose.
DiPietro threw his mask off. Briere skated towards him. Carcillo, fresh off defending Briere near the faceoff dot, made a beeline for DiPietro. Nothing really escalated beyond there, but Briere received a major for cross-checking Nielsen and Carcillo picked up a 10 minute misconduct. The league might look at this one as well.
The exclamation point? DiPietro was handed another minor for leaving the crease, and the Flyers finished the final minute of the game on the power play. Hey, only 10 years left on that contract.
On to the bullets...
- Jody Shelley was banging on the boards like a maniac telling Bobrovsky to skate down the ice to challenge DiPietro in that melee with a minute left in the third. After the game, when asked if he wanted to fight anybody, Bobrovsky (who understood the English word "fight," by the way), smiled and said "Nyet, nyet."
- Shelley and Carcillo picked up power play time late in the game. Laviolette said it had nothing to do with making sure things didn't get out of hand, but rather that he likes to give the guys who do some dirty work the opportunity to perhaps get a power play goal.
- I've never heard of a triple minor before.
- 120 minutes in penalties total tonight.
- Bobrovsky was fantastic. He made a ton of huge saves despite going long stretches without any action. He was extremely focused tonight, and he seemed extremely happy after the game.
- Jeff Carter, James van Riemsdyk and Andreas Nodl really stood out offensively tonight. The lines really seem to be coming together at this point, which makes things really interesting because Nikolay Zherdev isn't involved.
- Nodl left the game in the third period with an "upper-body injury" that he sustained in the first period. Tim Panaccio is reporting that Nodl is fine.
- Panaccio is also reporting that sources tell him Meszaros is okay and that he was only removed from the game as a precaution.
- From Katie Strang of Newsday: "DP cracked some jokes at his own expense and said of tangling with Pronger: 'I was looking for anyone except him, let's be honest.' "
- The defense finally chipped in offensively... and they did it in a big way, too. Pronger scored two and Timonen had one of his own. The defense hadn't scored a goal yet this season. That went away quickly. In total, the Flyers got six of their 18 points tonight from the blueline.
- Pronger told me after the game that he learned the fist pump from Briere.
Questions with Answers
- It's the first time a Flyers goaltender has played in back-to-back nights this season. Does Bobrovsky look as good as he did last night? Bob looked great tonight. He said after the game that he likes playing on back-to-back nights.
- Danny Briere needs two assists to reach 300 in his career. Does he do it tonight? The hottest offensive player on the team didn't have a point on a night where the team scored six goals. Weird.
- The Flyers have won 10 in a row against the Islanders in Philadelphia. Does that continue? It most certainly does.
- Both teams played last night. Any sluggishness to start? The Flyers were all over the Isles from the drop of the puck.
Comment of the Night
Did someone donate $5 to the American Cancer Society for every second DiPietro played tonight?
>> Geoff Detweiler, on why DP stayed in the game so long